By 4 weeks into my freshman year of college, my world looked completely different than it ever had before. For a girl who never went to church growing up, I suddenly found myself at a women’s bible study Monday night, younglife freshman fellowship Tuesday night, intervarsity large group Thursday night, and church Sunday mornings. I had just met the Lord and my priorities had seriously shifted. By my sophomore year I was leading YoungLife and it consumed my world in the best way possible. It was a huge time commitment and I loved that I got to spend so much time doing ministry every week and spend time with these awesome high school kids. I knew that would be the only time in my life I would be able to devote THAT much time each week to ministry, and now a few years later, that statement is more true then I ever thought it would be. There was a balance in my life between school and ministry, and to be honest I’ve struggled trying to find that balance ever since.
Being a full time leader, it was necessary to spend daily time with the Lord. I was preparing talks, counseling teenage girls, and leading bible studies on a weekly basis and so I had to be digging into scripture every day. For the past three years photography has been my full time job, and when I say full time i mean FULL. TIME. Being self employed, especially with such a seasonal job, can be a really scary thing so I was taking absolute every job I could and didn’t know how to say “no” when it came to anything photography related. It didn’t matter if I traveled every weekend, didn’t have a day off in weeks, or wasn’t investing in the community around me. I’ve found that I don’t.. ahem.. function very effectively like that.
This past year I’ve tried to reshape that and work towards finding a balance again. I need to have that balance.
The first step was finding and getting plugged into a church that I love. Done and done. I love my church. No, I mean I really REALLY love my church. Shameless plug, you are all invited to join us on Sunday, and if you can’t make it to the service you can always watch live or listen to the podcast. Anyway, I digress.. I’ve been trying these past few months to really get into a solid beneficial routine; a routine that includes things like going to the gym every morning, fellowship, reading before bed instead of tv, and a consistent time every day that is set aside for me to spend time with God. My job can’t be my whole life, and I think when you love your job as much as I love mine it can easily become the only thing that fills your day. Day after day.. after day. I want to invest in my clients and give them my absolute best, and if I’m showing up drained its doing them a disservice.
The verse that has been in the front of my mind for weeks now as I’m making decisions about my time and how I spend it has been Matthew 6:21: ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What does how I spend my time communicate about me? Does it show that I value the people in my life and my relationship with the Lord? What am I investing in? Is it something that will last or something temporary? Am I focusing on things that are true, noble, admirable (Philippians 4:8) or things that are not of God?
These days I’m starting to feel a little more confident in the answer to those questions, and my hope and prayer is that my life will reflect that verse a little more each day.
and just because no post is complete without a picture, here’s one of my favorite examples of God’s artwork:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6: 19-21
[…] to be more obedient to the Lord and listen for his voice and direction (I talked about that some in THIS blog post). I feel like God has done so much work and refining in my life this past year, that it […]
Love the honesty in all this, Jessie. Thanks for being real.
I SO know what you mean! I always forget how much sweeter life is when I devote that time to Jesus and then once I start doing it again I’m like ‘Why haven’t I been doing this all along?’! Know that you’re not the only one trying to work all this out. I’m right there with you!
Have a great day!
amen jess. amen. thanks for sharing.
Great post Jessie. Share that passion often.
Great post, Jessie! I agree wholeheartedly with your message :)
This is so true! Still trying to find that balance in my life. I’m so happy for you Jessie Smith!